5 Keys of Successful Logo Design

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The best logos make an impact. They are memorable and they instantly evoke images of the brand with which they are associated. Think of the Golden Arches in the McDonald’s logo or the classic script in the Coca-Cola logo. Think of the peacock feathers in the NBC logo or the swoosh in the Nike logo.

On the other hand, bad logos are forgettable. They look unprofessional and they don’t tell you anything about the brand.

Creating a successful logo can influence the overall success of your brand. Whether you are a logo designer yourself or if you are looking to hire a designer to create your logo, it is important to understand the qualities of a great logo so you can get one that encourages the success of your business. Here are 5 keys to successful logo design:

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1. Simplicity

One of the most important aspects of successful logo design is simplicity. There should be clean lines and few details like shading or other artistic touches. Colors should be limited to a few choices. Text should be limited to the brand name. Some great examples include the Nike swoosh, the Google logo, the Target bull’s eye, and the Twitter “T.” In logo design, less is more.

Target Logo

2. Recognition

Your logo will be synonymous with your brand. Therefore, it must be instantly recognizable in any format or medium. No matter what color, no matter what size, no matter what format, your logo should be identifiable as the image for your brand. Think of social media icons such as Facebook and Twitter: They use the logos for the most prominent social networks, but they are often manipulated to fit the theme of a blog and so are presented in different colors, different shapes, and different formats, yet they are always recognizable.

Twitter Logo

3. Uniqueness

If your logo is to be recognizable, it should also be unique. Otherwise, what is to say that the star in your logo is not actually the start in another company’s logo? Common shapes may be used, but they should be altered to create a unique logo for your brand, such as through special coloring or other details. However, it is a much better idea to create a unique logo that uses a unique shape or item that is not likely to be used by another company. The Nike swoosh is another great example, as is the apple with the bite taken out of it for Apple electronics.

Apple Logo

4. Tone

Your logo must tell your audience a bit about your company. What are your values? What kind of products or services do you provide? While a simple logo may not be able to convey all this information, it should create a certain tone that reflects your brand. For example, a logo with a comic sans font and bright colors will convey a sense of playfulness and irreverence. If you have a toy company, this may be totally appropriate. (Think of the playful font in the Toys R Us logo.) However, if you have a financial services company, this may make you seem unprofessional. Be sure that your logo creates the right tone for your brand.

Toys R Us Logo

5. Transferability

Your logo will be used on every item associated with your brand, including print materials, your website, your social media, and your e-mail list. It is important that your logo can not only be easily transferred to any of these mediums but also that it will be recognizable in each of them. For example, an animated logo may look great on a website, but you won’t be able to use it in a print campaign. Will it look as good as a static image? If not, you may want to consider a new logo.

Nike Logo

Some successful examples include the Nike swoosh logo and the McDonald’s arches. Those logos are recognizable in almost any format.

There is a certain amount of creativity and plain old luck required to create a successful logo. However, ensuring that your logo has each of these elements can help you to create something special that will help you to brand your company and connect with your customers.

For more on logo design, please see:

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